Monday, 1 February 2016

Brancaster Staithe from the Metal Mobile Hide

19th January 2016

It had been forecast to be a bright and sunny day but on our way to Norfolk the clouds rolled in and there was very poor light before we even got there. The plan was to be at Brancaster Staithe for high tide and therefore we had time to check out a few places along the coast. One of these was East Bank at Cley where there had been a Red-necked Grebe and Grey Phalarope on The Serpentine. The Red-necked Grebe was still present but very distant, but the Grey Phalarope, albeit very mobile, did come close enough on at least one occasion for some record shots. All the other sites were very quiet and gloomy.

So now on to Brancaster Staithe where the tide was up and we were able to drive around in the metal mobile hide, my car. The advantage of using a car as a hide is that not only can you drive right up to the birds, but also position the car to get the light from the right direction and a comfortable position for hanging the camera out of the window. First up was an Oystercatcher, which is a compulsory photographic subject when in Norfolk

Next was a rather more unusual wader. Normally the godwits that insist on standing in front of the lens are Black-tails, but here the three godwits present were all Bar-tails, which was an absolute bonus. The top one had a beautiful apricot wash to its breast.

Another bird that is normally difficult to get close to is the Curlew, but here this individual was totally unaware of our presence just 20 yards away. Absolutely amazing.

But the star of the show today was the Grey Plover that was feeding just 10 yards away. Such a shame that the light was so poor, requiring me to use ISO-3200, so just imagine what the shots would have been like in sunshine!!

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